-What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is April and together with my mother Glenda we are Bijoux Designs For You. We hail from just outside of Toronto, Ontario Canada.
-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?
Our shop name is Bijoux Designs For You. We wanted something a little fancy but a little everyday! Bijoux is French for jewelry so we thought it gave our shop a bit of exoticism while staying true to our desire to reach the everyday woman.
- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?
We sell on both Etsy and Artfire. We sold on Etsy first after specifically looking for an online venue for handmade items and we thought it was a good start for our first virtual shop. It wasn’t until this past November that we joined Artfire after looking into several other markets. We decided on Artfire because of the flat monthly fee and really enjoy the community there.
- How long have you been crafting?
I have been crafting my entire life. The “fever” was instilled in me by my mother who is multi-talented. For as long as I can remember she has sewn and done folkart and that is where my own crafting journey began. About 4 years ago I took her to a jewelry making class for her birthday and we were both instantly hooked!
-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.
I am the mommy to a beautiful almost 7 month old baby boy! In my pre-mommy life I used to be involved in the local theatrical community. I have had my Oscar speech ready since I was a little girl! I have an English degree and met my wonderful hubby while working at a newspaper as proofreader (office romance!)
-What do you sell in your shop?
We sell affordable and fun jewelry and gift items for women who still want to be stylish but are on a budget.
- Tell us about your crafting space.
My craft space is a disaster! I try to keep it organized but it just never seems to work out that way. Some how I know where everything is though. My mother on the other hand, has a whole room for her studio. She has everything labeled and hanging on pegboards and in containers…I’m so jealous!
-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?
On Artfire we belong to the Artfire Jewelry Design and Jewelry Supply Guild, The Canadian Guild and the Crafty Moms Guild. We currently don’t belong to any Etsy teams but there are a few that we have looked into.
-Where do you find inspiration?
Sometimes inspiration comes from making a piece for myself to match an outfit, sometimes it’s a great bead or charm, sometimes you just wake up at 3am with an ah-hah moment!
-Tell me a bit about your creative process.
My mom likes to lay everything out first and then put a piece together. I am more of a build as I go type.- Where have you learned to do what you do? My mother taught me to sew and paint. As mentioned above we took a class a few years ago and have just learned from there.
-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?
The pink and white MOM bookmark
-Why is it your favorite?
I love to read and remember going to book fairs as a kid and searching for the perfect bookmark. Being a new mommy I am also addicted to anything that announces it to the world (as if I don’t do that enough). Plus its pink!
You can find it in our Artfire studio http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=ViewListing&product_id=38540
and our Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19548452
- What is your favorite part of your craft?
Seeing an idea go from concept to completion and then having a customer get as excited about a piece as I am!
- What is your least favorite part?
Sometimes I feel like I spend SOOOOO much time promoting and not enough time creating.
-If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why?
I enjoy certain aspects of both selling venues. I think that you have to find what works best for your own shop but a supportive community is definitely a necessity for us.
-What makes your shop unique?
Our bookmarks and microwave mitts are extremely popular and we have scoured many suppliers to find great charms and materials at a good cost so that we can bring them to you at a very reasonable price. It’s nice even on the tightest budget to be able to treat yourself to something special.
-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?
Be prepared for A LOT of work, not just the work of creating. Learning to take good pictures, write good descriptions and the sheer amount of promotion involved can be overwhelming. I think that many people are under the illusion that if they just make and list items the business will start pouring in. While that may be true for some, for most it is a long journey (one that we are having a blast with!)
-Where else can we find you on the web?
You can also find us at http://www.bijouxdesignsforyou.etsy.com/,
you can tweet with us at http://twitter.com/bijouxdesigns
and find our blog at http://bijouxdesignsforyou.blogspot.com/